Thursday, December 2, 2010

Next to the mall, the place that most intrigues me is the airport. I had a three hour layover in Atlanta so I took the underground transit to the international terminal. It’s always less crowded and the atmosphere is just different. Actually, after hanging out there for a couple hours I almost felt a bit international and smarter.

The food court has flowers on each table and a grand piano. Most of the time the player mode is on, but occasionally a pianist in tuxedo shows up. For some reason McDonalds, Panda Express and Qdoba taste better while listening to classical music.

There’s such a mix of people in the international terminal. I listened to conversations in eight or so languages. I don’t know why it is, but when I hear children speaking anything but English, I feel like they must be gifted.

I wondered if all the service men and women were coming home or headed for deployment. I hoped it was home. I thought about why pilots are the only ones who really dress up to fly anymore. I suppose it would be a bit disturbing to have someone in ripped jeans and a T shirt walk into the cockpit of a 747, unless it was John Travolta.

Sitting there it dawned on me how tiny my world is. Where were all of these people going ... to a wedding, on a vacation or business trip, were they relocating, or traveling to a funeral of a loved one?

The one thing I noticed about almost everyone was they were relaxed. Maybe it was the piano music or it could be Americans are the most tightly wound people on the planet, and most of the folks in the international terminal were not from the U.S. That’s most likely why they will live longer and suffer from fewer diseases than we do. Maybe we aren’t as smart as we like to think we are.

As got back on the tram to the real world, I hoped I could remember to slow down act more international when I got home.

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